If you’re here, then you’re interested in a more detailed account of my weight loss and “struggles” than the generic “I lost thirty pounds, got healthy and now feel great!” Which is true, but over-simplifies it just a tad ;)
I hit a real rough patch in middle school that only seemed to snowball. My parents divorced, and my family was hit with some really tough issues. I was exposed to a few things that no 12-year-old should ever have to go through. So I acted out as a way to deal. I started smoking cigarettes and drinking. My new actions lead me to new groups of friends. I was eventually exposed to drugs, and began a struggle that stretched well into my high school years.
Looking back, I can see I was treating my body in the worst possible way. I cringe now to think of the awful things I ingested and the horrible things I put myself through. Even more, the contempt I held towards myself. I went to a deep and dark place, and for a brief moment, myself and my family had genuine concern I wasn’t going to come out.
Dropping out of school in grade 10 was the breaking point for me. I was eventually diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, or agoraphobia, and put on medication. The anxiety diagnosis was a new beginning for me, everything started to make sense. I learned why I panicked in crowds and strange environments. I learned coping mechanisms and was able to slowly learn to deal with my fear without the help of drugs or alcohol. I started at a new school and pieces of my life started to come back together.
After high school, I moved to a new city to be with my boyfriend at the time. While that relationship didn’t work out, it did get me to university, where I studied journalism and communications. It was there that I shaped my passion for writing and storytelling. My healing process continued through my university years. I was thrown into new environments and challenged on a daily basis. I found a new sense of confidence, despite the constant anxiety running through my veins.
While I was healing mentally in university, it was doing nothing for me physically (as the story usually goes…). Beer and nachos became my go-to meal, and it eventually started to show. I reached my heaviest weight after returning from a trip to Jamaica. I ate and drank the whole time I was there, and continued the vacation once I got home. My wake-up call came from a Wii Fit. I hadn’t weighed myself in months out of fear, but I couldn’t hide from the number it spit back at me. It was that very moment that I made the final change I needed.
I started counting calories online (something I no longer need to do) and committed to doing some form of activity everyday. I was shocked by how many extra calories I was consuming. Who knew a giant bowl of granola could be so unhealthy?
I was a classic case of just eating too much and moving too little. Once I balanced that out, the weight almost melted off. What I couldn’t have predicted, was that after years of inactivity, I fell in love with exercising. It challenged me in ways I wasn’t used to. I started setting fitness goals and accomplishing them – running 5k, swimming 1k, squatting with an olympic bar, doing a TRIATHLON. Yes, the the girl who used to puff back boxes of cigarettes did a flipping triathlon.
Now I love my healthy food, my daily exercises and my new positive outlook on life. Looking back, I can’t believe the person I used to be, or the person I now am. It really has been a long, laborious struggle. But it was worth every up and down. Every mistake and every goal achieved. That’s what I mean when I say it’s not just my pants size that has changed. I turned my life, my health, my well-being on its head. Now, there is no going back.
So I guess this is where the blog comes in and this story picks up. I’m happy you’re here to join me on the rest of this journey. Because who knows where we can go from here!
As always, I love hearing from the people reading my words. Comment away or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org